Investigation into derailment at St. Lazare continues

Approximately one million liters of oil spilled when almost 40 crude oil cars left the CN tracks adjacent to the small, Francophone border town on Feb. 16.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has reported that about one million liters of crude oil spilled onto nearby ranchland when a Canadian National Railway train left its tracks near St. Lazare on Feb. 16.

Crews from Canadian National Railway’s (CN) emergency services responded to a train derailment involving 37 cars carrying crude oil near the community of St. Lazare, Man on Feb. 16. The follow-up investigation, which is still ongoing, has determined that the crude oil spill came from breaches to 16 of the 37 rail cars that derailed. Investigators found that an emergency brake was applied at the time of the incident.

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TSB is continuing its investigation into the incident, looking at potential failures within wheel sets on the cars and track components.

The 110-car train travelling east at the time left the tracks at about 3:30 a.m., causing what was reported as a “partial leak” of oil near the small, Francophone community in the Assiniboine River Valley along the Manitoba border with Saskatchewan. No injuries or fires were involved in the incident and crews were onsite not long after to inspect the damage, begin cleanup efforts and an investigation into what caused the train to derail.

Less than eight hours after the derailment, a pro-pipeline rally was held in Moosomin, Sask., located about 60 kilometers southeast east just across the Saskatchewan border along the Trans Canada Highway. About 500 to 600 people attended the event, where they were told about the derailment during closing statements from Moosomin Mayor Larry Tomlinson.

Conservative Party and Official Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer, Conservative Party Senator Denise Batters, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs headlined a group of about 10 speakers for the rally, which supports the construction of Canadian oil pipelines, including the currently dormant Energy East project.

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